Bath Towel Rug

I started this project back in August of 2012 on a craft day with my best friend. I found it on Pinterest and thought it looked fun and easy; little did I know how time-consuming this would be. πŸ˜‰ The website I found it at says it’s an eco-friendly bath rug and I had so many towels that it was no problem cutting up a few.

What you’ll need:

  • A “latch rug” canvas or gridded matting (mine was 18″ x 30″)
  • Towels you don’t mind cutting up
  • Scissors

 

Latch rug canvas and a towel
I cut up one towel at a time since I didn’t know how many I would actually need. Cutting up the towels was the hardest part of this project – my fingers were literally numb after cutting the first towel. I cut the strips about 5 inches long, maybe a little less, and between 1/4-1/2″ in width.

First time around

First towel completed
I went all the way around the edges first, and I knotted the towel strips on each square for the outer edges. I wanted to be sure it was stable and not falling apart. It’s definitely not going to fall apart. Once I got done with the first white towel, I decided I wanted to add some color.

Second towel
IMG_20120728_205438

At this point I’ve cut up three (3) full towels and I’m ready to keep knotting! I only knotted each strip one time through the canvas. It’s not necessary to “double knot”, in case you are wondering.

Third towel
Almost done with third towel

By the way, this is probably 2 months into the project. I did most of the work on it while I was watching/listening to lectures for school. It’s nice busy work to keep from getting distracted with Pinterest. πŸ˜‰

Fourth  - hand towel
Fifth towel

As you can see, I’m keeping up with the color! Most of these are odd-ball towels that didn’t have “matches”. The turquoise color is a hand towel and made it around once. At this point I am only knotting towel strips around every other square in the canvas. It’s getting thick and it’s not necessary to put one on each square.

Sixth towel
This is sometime around Christmas and the beginning of this year. I’ve used a really pale blue, medium blue, turquoise, dark green, and now a purple towel. I was hoping this would be the last one but I ended up using part of a seventh towel. I didn’t take pictures of the cut up portions of the last towel, but I think you get the point by now!

Close up of towels
Back of rug

The last towel I used is bright green, just for fun. There are a TON of little towel pieces to clean up after you are done, and you will get them all over yourself. BUT, it’s totally worth it because you now have a new rug, recycled some old towels, and chances are, feeling pretty proud! I know I am.

Finished rug

This rug is super-soft and while it’s a nice one for a bathroom, I am using it just as decor right now. It feels wonderful and I got a great compliment from a friend on it! It was also quite a bit of fun, but it took me until the end of January to complete it. You can probably do it MUCH faster, but again, this is a “spare time” project for me and the end result is totally worth all of the numb fingers.

Advertisements

“Black Hole” Crayon Art

Since this is an ever-changing project, I feel compelled to share multiple instances of it while I work out different techniques. On my first crayon art project I attempted to make circles with the crayons to create a “sunburst” effect. It didn’t turn out the way I initially envisioned it in my head, but I absolutely loved the finished product. Though I like to think they are all open to interpretation, it reminds me of a solar flare. Since I had a second piece of canvas and extra crayons, I decided to create something that was darker, but still keeping with the theme.

When I started this piece of art I was thinking about galaxies and nebulas. I see tons of images of space all over Pinterest that inspire me and by the time I was done with the project it had turned into a black hole. Still, I love the artwork and I am so fascinated by “painting” with crayons! I have yet to work on the crayon art that has the crayons actually attached to the canvas, but I will get to that one day. For now, I am going to keep playing with this technique.

Greens, blues, purples, and violets with grey, black, & white.

Crayons & glitter with stretched canvas.

Since I used yellows, oranges, and reds in the last artwork, and both will be going on a wall in my office at work, I wanted to use the cooler end of the color spectrum in this piece. I used two colors that tie in both pieces, though they are not both pictured in the posts – yellow green and red violet. The red violet was my “flare” in the first piece, and the yellow green had two bright splashes in the base color. I did the same with the yellow green in this piece as you will see.

Blue green, blue, cerulean, and indigo – base colors.

The base colors of this piece are mostly blues. Again, I did not take pictures of the boring task of removing the crayon wrappers, but it must be done to paint this way! I started with cerulean (unintentionally), then did a blue layer, then a blue green layer, and finally used the indigo to create a “night sky” look.

The first layer of cerulean crayon.

The second layer with blue, in addition to the cerulean.

The third and fourth layer with blue green and indigo, plus blue & cerulean.

To get the “smears”, I just heated the crayons and rolled them across the canvas until the wax dried – very quickly. The lines I was able to draw by heating the point of the crayon, letting the wax pool, then dragging quickly while heating with the dryer.

I continued to add more blues in the base to give it a very full background.

As I did in the first project, I let the ends of the crayons drip down the edges and I moved the wax around and down by blowing on it with the dryer. It’s pretty easy to do and another reason I am glad I only have a travel-size hair dryer. Any additional power would have blown the wax too much.

I added the first neutral, grey. You can also see the first smear of yellow green.

I will admit that when I started adding the grey I got a little bit nervous. The last project didn’t have any neutral colors in it so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was hoping the gray would mix well with the other colors and lighten it up a bit, but it was too dark a grey I think. I soldiered on, though.

The background is now filled in with blues and grey.

Once I filled in the entire piece of canvas with the blues and grey, I was ready to add other colors. At this point I haven’t used any glitter as I wanted to reserve that for the “stars” in the galaxy. I haven’t figured out that I am going for the black hole just yet, but it’s not too long before it takes shape.

The start of a black hole – it’s very intense here.

I used gold glitter in the “black hole”. It started out looking very intimidating. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to turn it into anything or if I would have to pivot on the idea. Fortunately, there are still a few colors to go and plenty of time to move the wax around.

I started by adding green that spreads vertically between the black and the yellow green.

Some of the different galaxy/nebula images are done in beautiful green colors so I wanted to add some green in to create a “gas cloud” type of look. I also thought it would blend the yellow green and blue green into the picture nicely.

The next color was blue violet which I used to blend with the indigo.

Since I blended the green into the yellow- and blue green, I decided to use the blue violet to blend into the indigo and black. It also blends nicely with the grey. I used a light green glitter on the green wax, and I used a light pink glitter on the blue violet wax. So far there are just a few sprinkles of glitter, but it’s starting to come together a bit more and I am less nervous about the whole project.

I’ve added violet and red violet now to round out the colors I’m using.

The last colors, minus white, I added were the violet and red violet. They weren’t really used to blend anything specifically, but I used them to form a sort of “cloud” around the black hole to separate it from the blue “sky”. I used the same light pink glitter on the violet, and I used a red glitter on the red violet. Now I just need to add in the white touches and finish it up.

I’ve added white around the “color clouds” and the black hole.

The white made it appear more “cloud-like”, and I sprinkled silver glitter in the white wax. You may notice that at this point the picture has flipped vertically. I didn’t have the other pictures and I forgot which end I had up.

Finished artwork. πŸ™‚

To add some finishing touches to the piece, I added some additional white around the black hole and I used the dryer to blend it both into the black and into the color. I also went back and added some touch-ups of the blue base toward the corners. I moved some wax around in the center to finish it off. The last thing I did was spray it with a couple of coats of gloss Mod Podge sealer. This is so the glitter won’t come off. I absolutely love the finished project!! I’m not sure if I love it as much as the “Solar Flare” but it’s obviously a close second. πŸ˜‰

“Solar Flare” Crayon Art

I loved “colors” as a kid, and nothing was more exciting than opening a fresh box of Crayola Crayons and getting to work on a coloring book. Now that I am grown I still love color, but I don’t really have much time for coloring. In my hours of browsing through Pinterest I have come across several different varieties of crayon art that I am in love with. Two of my favorite pieces of art can be found at these sites: the blog My Chocolate Moments and a glorious seller on Etsy, JKCreate. Who knew melting crayons would be so wonderful?! Anyway, I decided I’d give this a shot. It is my first attempt at real artwork, so I was a bit nervous. It turned out fine, though.

We needed artwork to put on the walls in my office so I decided I wanted something original on my wall. We have a small office and my coworker and I wanted to put art on the 3 walls we have to brighten the room. We have a window that looks out into the lobby of our office building and we have a skylight that gives some sunlight into our office. It’s not real sunlight, but it’s a natural glow. When I started to pick out the items for the artwork I was thinking about a sunburst with glitter around the edges of each circle burst.

Canvas, crayons, superfine glitter, hair dryer.

Superfine glitters. I picked these up at Hobby Lobby.

 

 

The glitter package had some really pretty red & pink colors so I decided to throw in some red and violet crayons. I didn’t take a picture of the boring part, but I had to peel the wrapper off of the crayons which is a little bit of a pain. No worries, though. Idle hands are the Devil’s playground. It’s easy work to do. In my head I am still envisioning a sunburst but I am seriously underestimating my ability to melt & quickly twirl crayons.

Unwrapped base colors in yellow to red orange, silver to orange glitters.

First “bursts” in yellow – these were pretty hard to do and kept getting harder.

I purchased a travel-size hair dryer for this project. I actually don’t use a hair dryer for myself so I wasn’t interested in spending a lot of money for one. I am glad I made this decision because any bigger and it probably would have burned my fingers. It took about a minute to get a really good drip and you have to twirl quickly because: 1) if you take the hair dryer away they cool very quickly, and 2) if you leave the hair dryer on it blows the wax all over the canvas. This comes in handy later but for now I am just thinking “bursts”.

Yellow, Golden Yellow, Apricot, Orange

As I twirled each crayon in a circle, I sprinkled glitter around the edges of the bursts. I used silver glitter around the edges of yellow, gold around the edges of the golden yellow, bronze around the apricot, and copper around the orange. Again, another reason I am glad I purchased a cheap dryer (about $13.00) is that it is covered in glitter. πŸ™‚ I am not great at photography and these are all taken on a cell phone camera, so I didn’t take a ton of pictures of the process. It was tough to get pictures of the twirling action but I used my fingers and heated the ends of the crayons to get the circles.

Circles have started spreading from the dryer and I’ve started painting some of the crayons on.

 

There is one smear of yellow green crayon on the far right and it was too green for the project. I left it and later added one other smear of yellow green on the other side and it looks great. By this point I am just trying to get it mostly filled in with the yellow to orange colors before I add in my red, red violet, and violet red. I have already used some red orange and scarlet in the above photo. I wanted the edges to have a drip so they wouldn’t be plain. I did this by hanging the pointed edges of the crayon right at the edge and blowing on them until they pooled up, then using the dryer to spread it down the edges. It worked really well this way.

This is after I’ve finished adding the red-violets.

 

I didn’t get pictures of the red to violet red parts, but I twirled a couple of smaller pieces of the red and violet red to make small flares, and then got the tips really melted and drew lines through and around the bursts. This is how I got the colors to the one spot towards the top in this picture. I turned it upside down later and like it the other way around.

“Solar Flare” artwork ready to be hung in my office!

I signed the upper right corner (yeah, it’s at the top! what of it?) and I sprayed it with a Gloss Mod Podge sealer. I did this so the glitter wouldn’t come off. I absolutely love it! I am going to make a second one and I will post more about that project later! I am so excited and my boss loves it. This was such a fun project and I definitely recommend giving it a shot when you have some free time. It would be really fun with a group of friends!

Homemade Watercolors: Baking Soda, Vinegar, Corn Starch, & Corn Syrup

I recently stumbled upon a recipe for homemade watercolors. Now, I don’t have any children in my house, but I do have a nephew and the opportunity to make things for him that are non-toxic is something that I cannot pass up. I found the idea at Meet the Dubiens – she made rainbow watercolors that are beautiful! I didn’t have rainbow gel colors, so I just used what I had. Apparently what I had was the Wilton bland flower collection: golden yellow, rose petal, violet, cornflower blue, leaf green, and forest green.

I bought the containers at the Dollar General for $2.00. The lids snap on – they are a little big for the amount the recipeΒ  makes, but it’s no big deal. They worked fine! Each color calls for: 2 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon lite corn syrup. I mixed them all in a small bowl.

I had to use a little more vinegar than the recipe called for. The first color I made was purple and I accidentally left out part of the corn starch. It was super thin and would never have dried! I realized it quickly, washed it down the drain, and started over. I wish I could adequately explain the correct consistency – it starts to take a solid shape when you let it set, but it turns back liquid when you stir it around. It’s fun. πŸ™‚

Notice it almost hangs off of the fork. It will still easily pour into your containers. It’s almost fun to play with it like this! As far as the amount of gel food coloring to use, it depends on how dark you want your colors. Remember, they are watercolors so they will appear muted on paper!

When I poured them into their containers, the color started to “separate” as they dried. I made my first three colors and decided to wait a while before I started again. I gave them time to dry and be sure it wasn’t messed up. Obviously, the separation freaked me out a bit.

Once dried, they still appear separated, but I don’t think it’s going to affect them much. After the first three colors dried, I was more comfortable finishing up the project.

I threw together 5 more colors and they are now drying on my kitchen cabinet. The first three colors are completely dry (after about 48 hours) and I can try them out anytime I want!

Notice on the far right, the blue almost looks powdery. That is completely dried out. I will post some pictures when I get around to painting them. In the meantime, I am allowing my other colors to dry and trying to decide what to paint!